Preparing for the Devil’s Path

Posted: February 16, 2012 by None Smith in English, Training
Tags: , , ,

“Well, if we reach the Devil’s Tombstone campground by the end of day one we can definitely do it in two days.” Paul mentioned to me as we discussed the upcoming trip.

Unfortunately, this trip was been up in the air as of a some days ago. Paul (of Tamandua Jungle Expeditions), recently caught a cold of sorts while he was in Nagarhole National Forest in Karnataka, India. As of Saturday, he said it wasn’t going to happen – he was too sick. I had also been depending on him for the car ride to the Catskills from New Jersey. The window of opportunity was closing and I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to attempt my long sought after trail during winter months.

We were planning on leaving on Wednesday. On Monday, I received a phone call as I was eating dinner. “Hey man, I just got a cold-weather sleeping bag from my cousin. I’m feeling a lot better, I think the symptoms are passing. We’re good to go. What do you think, two days?”

With 14,000 feet of elevation gain and loss over the course of 24 miles, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to take us longer than two days. And that’s if it doesn’t snow.

The path was named as such by Dutch explorers. I paraphrase, but from what I’ve read they said, “Only the cloven-footed devil could traverse these mountains to escape the world of men.” So we’re going to try our might at this path.

As Ben and Natalia prepare for their Bolivian Mountaineering training in a couple months, I am doing what I can to keep up with their training and make sure my wits are about me while in the mountains. As I prepare my gear for the Devil’s Path, I think this will prove a worthy challenge and a good training ground for the expedition. We will be donning and doffing our packs at multiple peaks, climbing on hands and knees, pulling on roots and rocks to make our way up the cliffs. None the less, we will be traversing 7 mountains over 3500 feet. We’re expecting a tough challenge and hopefully some exciting surprises.

The trip will be a nice escape from work and suburban life. It’s a chance to finally put my hands on some real rock. It will also be a worthy gauge of a lot of skills that will come in handy on the expedition such as packing, pack weight, food, thermo-regulation, keeping warm, wind protection and more.

Local Maps

For all you gear junkies, here’s the gear I will be bringing. Feel free to critique.

Shelter and Sleeping:

Backpack – The North Face

Marmot Never Summer Sleeping Bag – Rated 0 F

Food and Water, Mmm.

Z-Lite Sleeping Pad

MSR Hubba Hubba 2-Person Tent

Food and Cooking:

MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

GSI Pinnacle Soloist Cooking set

Ramen Noodles

Homeemade GORP

Instant Oatmeal

An old Italian camping recipe that consist of (all raw) Tuna, Roman Beans and Onions with Salt and Pepper. Before you judge, try it – its great trail food with a ton of protein.

Around 5L of water each.


Two pairs of synthetic thermal underwear (tops and bottoms)

A Fleece (or two)

Assortment of Gear

Marmot Bastione Jacket for camp

3 Pairs of Wool Socks

Rain Pants

Outer Synthetic Pants

Merrell Isotherm 8 Winter Boots

Other gear:

Books and Maps



Headlamp (Princeton Tec Apex)

Firestarters and more

Paul will also have a water filter that we will use along the way.

As you read this, we’re probably already on the trail, on our way the Devil’s Tombstone Campground. I’ll be trying to send tweets along the way with updates, but I’m no 100% if I’ll get service. Either way, @normrasmussen and check out where we are!

As an added bonus, my brother-in-law recently got rid of his old Camera, a Canon EOS RebelG – an old SLR. It’s a great knock-around camera and I’m excited to test it out on this trip!

New Camera!

  1. Jodi says:

    Good luck, guys!

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